Snowboarding Gear for Newbies So you're new to snowboarding, and you're probably wondering what kinds of equipment and clothing you'll need. Of course, you'll need to tackle the snowboard, boots, and bindings (addressed shortly), but do you know what there is to know about layering right so you can keep warm in those low temperatures? Perhaps you're accustomed to frigid winters, or maybe you're from a milder part of the world that barely ever sees a snowflake. Whether you are snow-savvy or not, you can inform and educate yourself with this beginner's guide. Let's begin with the most obvious piece of equipment, the snowboard. Fundamentally, there are three different kinds of boards, and they differ by length, width, and shape. First and foremost, you must choose the length. As a beginner, you'll likely want to go with a short board, which when vertical will reach somewhere between your collarbones and your chin, because it will allow for easier maneuverability. Longer boards are suitable for people with higher skill levels, so begin short and upgrade as you improve. Width of the board will vary with the size of your feet, so the larger they are, the wider the board you'll require. The wider the board, the more surface area you'll have to keep you "afloat" on deep powder, but of course, the extra width will add to the overall weight of the board. When it comes to shape, it is advisable that a beginner start with either a freestyle board or a freeride board. Both are soft, which will allow for smoother turning, but the freestyle board may take slightly longer to outgrow because its deeper sidecut will let you carve more precise turns. A stiffer board is really meant for more experienced boarders rather than beginners, who will be turning very sharply at high speeds. Boots and bindings are next. Fit must be snug enough to give you ample control while wearing one pair of socks, but not so tight that you will be uncomfortable. The inside ought to have plenty of lining and cushioning. Stiffness is essential to giving you the level of control you need, as you don't want to be restricted. You will most benefit from softer boots because they are more comfortable and more forgiving, not to mention warm. With bindings, you have the choice between strap-in or step-in. Strap-in bindings are more universal, whereas you'll need to purchase special step-in boots with step-in bindings. For women, opt for snowboard boots that were specifically designed for females, as the size and shape of your feet will differ from industry standard. Try on the boots with bindings at the store so you know exactly how it feels, paying particular attention to any discomfort.
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Now you can think about the layers you'll need with your clothing. While your clothes need to keep you warm and dry, they need to also offer you plenty of freedom to move. Your base layer ought to be long underwear made of synthetic, sweat wicking material, rather than cotton. Your second layer will help insulate you from the freezing temperatures, so choose a jacket or vest made of fleece or a synthetic material, which will keep you warm as well as wash easily. Sometimes the two layers is enough to keep you warm and protected, but other times, a third layer is required for the wind and wetness. When trying on snowpants or a jacket for your outer layer, wear the underlying layers as well to make sure you can still move freely. Make sure whatever you buy is wind- and waterproof, which means sometimes you'll have to invest a bit more. Last, ensure that your snowpants have belt loops! With all the moving you're doing on the board, your pants will otherwise slide downward all throughout, but a good belt will take that distraction away. Snowboarding belts come in leather, elastic, and fabric.
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You can absolutely protect your extremeties and your neck with "classic" winter accessories such as a scarf, face mask, gloves, or earmuffs. However, you cannot do without a decent pair of snowboarding goggles or sunscreen. You will be protected from snow, wind, UV rays, glare, and tree branches. Sunscreen will protect your skin from harsh UV rays reflected by the bright white of the snow. Cuffs of your jackets must be pulled over your gloves to keep in body heat and keep out snow. It is absolutely essential to protect your body from the elements so you will not be distracted by anything and can be focused entirely on your snowboarding.